Jori Hulkkonen has been producing and remixing for over fifteen years. With such a lengthy career in this fickle industry, it's not surprising to learn that Hulkkonen never wants to be "The Shit," as he remarked in the lead-up to the release of his tenth studio album, Man From Earth. From the shadows one can experiment and create, pluck the strings of change or create pure dance floor music without the pressure of being a face in a trend.
Given the soulful and unhurried ambience found in his previous albums, it may come somewhat as a surprise to see Man From Earth drop on the scene-studded Turbo Recordings, however. "Most of the tracks were intended for twelve inch singles so they are not album tracks as such. But what it may lack in atmospheric synthpads, 'scandinavian mooddesign' and social commentary, it makes up in catchy bass lines, sizzling hi-hats and semi-danceable tracks," claims Hulkkonen.
The home-listener shouldn't write this album off just yet though; there are moments of brilliance, and not just hands-in-the-air brilliance either. Tracks like "Dancerous" deliver real punch. The slo-mo tempo holds some serious sonic depth and the old skool distorted synth lines pack rawness aplenty; I wasn't surprised to learn that "Dancerous" was written back in 1994. "Ridge Over Trouble Forrester" and "Musta Gunilla," meanwhile, are classic Jori: Detroit-inspired jams that are as tough as they are melodic and beautiful. The 909 gets a workout and the results are big and raw, with both standing as potential highlights for perennial Hulkkonen fans.
The title track, "Man From Earth," finishes this album and, like "Re Last Year," it's a warm, charming song. It was originally written back in 1991—and you can well believe it—it's full of the nu-wave synthpop romance of that era. It's not going to become a classic, but it's yet another solid piece of work from a producer who doesn't want much else.
- Published /
Thu / 3 Dec 2009
- Words /